Key Takeaways:

  1. National Relaxation Day: A day to unwind, relax, and prioritize your well-being.
  2. Benefits for Your Brain & Body: From reduced stress to improved focus, discover how relaxation supports your health.
  3. Simple Relaxation Ideas: Explore quick and easy ways to unwind and nurture your mind and body.

Slow down… breathe, and relax. National Relaxation Day is all about winding down and just taking it easy.

Have you been feeling stressed lately? In the hustle and bustle of modern life, we’re juggling a lot – from taking care of the kids to putting in those long hours at work.

It’s easy to feel like the weight of the world is on our shoulders. That’s why National Relaxation Day is such a gem. It’s a chance for us to hit pause, let go, and just soak in the bliss of pure relaxation.

We all need to have a break from time to time due to the constant stress and pressure we put on our bodies and minds.

Why is National Relaxation Day celebrated?

National Relaxation Day was founded back in 1985 by a 9-year-old.  Think about that!  A fourth grader knew we needed to relax more!

It’s important to celebrate it because Stress can have damaging physical effects on the body,  and relaxation can help undo that damage.

How relaxation can help your brain & body:

  1. It slows your heart and breathing. Achieving a relaxed state can result in changes to your Parasympathetic & Sympathetic nervous system, which controls your heart rate and breathing rate.
  2. It improves focus and thinking. By lowering the amounts of adrenaline and cortisol hormones, relaxation helps to ease anxiety, allowing us to focus better on our tasks. A serene state of mind acts as a brake on high-frequency, hyperactive brain waves that can cloud clear thinking. In fact, meditation has the potential to balance brain waves, leading to improved focus and heightened energy levels.
  3. It can help reduce pain. By reducing muscle tension, relaxation helps reduce muscle pain. Additionally, the release of endorphins can bring relief to individuals suffering from chronic pain conditions.
  4. It helps you sleep. It probably comes as no surprise that a relaxed person can sleep more easily, even if they’re not experiencing the exhaustion that comes with stress.

How do you celebrate National Relaxation Day?

There are many ways that you can relax and unwind and help your brain function at the same time.  It is all about figuring out what works for you, and what truly enables you to relax.  Here are some quick & simple ideas to get you started:

  • Take a quick walk outside – the movement & fresh air clear the head
  • Listen to a favorite song
  • Do some deep breathing for 5 minutes: 4-7-8 breathing works great. Inhale through your nose for 4 seconds, hold for 7 seconds and exhale through your mouth for 8 seconds. Do 4 cycles if you have time.
  • Spend some time reading a favorite book
  • Eat some dark chocolate – 1 square of 70% or higher. It can lift mood & increase blood flow to the brain
  • Sip some green tea – green tea contains an amino acid that helps reduce stress
  • Try progressive relaxation – start with your head and slowly focus on relaxing each body part all the way to your feet. Focus on each area for 10-15 seconds with deep breathing.
  • Use creative visualization – think about a place that makes you happy or calm. Like the sound of ocean waves or breathing in mountain air.
  • Try a hand or foot massage – you can massage your own hands or feet using a tennis ball. Roll it on the palms or arch where you can feel it relieving tension.
  • Get some sunshine – sit outside for 10-15 minutes and get some sun.
  • Do some stretching or yoga poses. It can be as simple as standing up and reaching your fingers to the ceiling with 3 full deep belly breaths.
  • Do some doodling – whatever comes to mind. That’s the fun of doodling.
  • Write in a gratitude journal – writing what we are truly thankful for & why it’s meaningful creates positive thoughts
  • Do a quick dance break- fun movement is a great way to relax
  • Smell some pleasing flowers, herbs, or essential oils – this affects our limbic system in the brain, a region related to emotion & memory. Smells can elicit positive emotions, reducing stress.
  • Cuddle with a pet – it helps lower cortisol & increase a feel-good hormone oxytocin
  • Watch or listening to something funny – laughter increases oxygen to the brain, decreases heart rate, blood pressure, and cortisol
  • Talk to a friend – friends help us laugh & get new perspectives on things.
  • Go to a spa or get a massage
  • Do a digital detox for part of your day – take mini breaks from the screen time.

Whatever you choose, have fun, get family & friends involved and see what other creative ways you can think of to relax!